Kevin D Thompson – Trust - Kurt Mortensen's 5 C's

Trust - Kurt Mortensen's 5 C's

Trust - Kurt Mortensen's 5 C's

What is it?

Trust is the belief that someone's speech and actions will be congruent - they will speak the truth, walk their talk and follow through with their commitments.

Why is it important?

Trust is a major ingredient in generating influence with another person - possibly the single most important. Without trust, there is little or no basis for engaging in agreements - especially when there are significant stakes involved. Trust is one of those characteristics that takes time to develop and demonstrate to others, but only takes a moment to destroy.

Kurt Mortensen, a highly regarded student and authority on influence and persuasion, outlined 5 critical components that develop trust - each of them begins with a C:

 

     1. Character - we do not trust those we perceive as lacking in character.

     2. Competence - we do not trust those we perceive as being incompetent in the immediate subject.

     3. Confidence - we do not trust those we perceive as not being confident in their role or their words.

     4. Credibility - we do not trust those we perceive as not being credible in general terms as well as specific terms.

     5. Congruence - we do not trust those we perceive as not being congruent in their speech and behavior.

 

I frame these in the negative because for most people these components are not necessarily assumed to be present in people. Also, we tend to look for negative signals that these components are missing more than we look for their presence. Additionally, when we have seen these components present in someone, and trust in that person has developed, it is still very easy for trust to be destroyed with one small sign or suspicion of deficiency in any one component. 

Lastly, it is important to understand that trust and the 5 C's are a matter of "perception" of the other person (or our own when considering other people) and may have little to do with reality. People go to great lengths to "show" themselves trustworthy, but sometimes it is only window dressing. We must take responsibility for our own placement of trust, and the development and protection our own trustworthiness.